I sometimes get unique ideas from public adjusters. Today, I received one regarding the website, UmpireBook.com, that I want to share with you. Here is the email:

From: Public Adjuster <stephen@docudamage.com>
To: Chip Merlin
Sent: Thu Sep 10 10:22:30 2009
Subject: UmpireBook.com – The latest free tool for Public Adjusters

The latest free tool for Public Adjusters


If you engage in the Appraisal Process then you need to know about www.UmpireBook.com

UmpireBook was NOT developed to just give our opinions on Umpires! It was developed solely to disclose potentially biased relationships between Umpires, Insurance Carriers and insurance carrier Appraisers.

Through giving a very simple rating to the Umpire along with listing the identity of the Insurance Carrier and their Appraiser then potential biased relationships begin to become very, very clear!

Before you proceed, please watch the following short video tutorial. Please make sure you turn up the sound on your computer.

Here is the video: http://www.screencast.com/t/pNzHkVl4DY

We have constructed this site in such a way as to allow the following:

1. Policyholders Appraisers will be able to register for an account at www.UmpireBook.com. Currently we are only accepting applications from Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters. Professional Appraisers as well as Attorneys will also be permitted if they can display substantial proof that they work only on the side of consumers.

2. Once registered, the user will be able to post profiles of Umpires and Insurance Carriers Appraisers that they have done business with.

3. Once a Profile of an Umpire or Insurance Carrier Appraiser has been posted then Registered Users will be able to rate their experience with the Umpire or Appraiser. The rating will consist of:
a. The date the Appraisal was concluded (The approximate date is acceptable)

b. The identity of the Umpire

c. The identity of the insurance carriers Appraiser

d. The name of the Insurance Carrier

e. A rating of either Excellent, Average or Poor for the Umpire

Once the above information has been entered, the Umpire or Appraisers profile will display the rating for others to see. After numerous ratings of the same Umpire or Appraisers performance by many different Registered Users we will begin to see the following:
a. A quick "at a glance" idea of any biased relationships between Umpires and specific insurance carrier Appraisers.

b. If the Umpire has been reported to have acted as an Insurance Carriers Appraiser and if so by which company and how the Registered Users Rated him while doing so.

c. A list of the Umpires that the Appraisers have worked with in the past and the Registered Users opinions of the outcome as well as a list of Appraisers that the Umpires have worked with in the past and the Registered Users Opinions on those as well.

4. The Registered User will also be allowed to make specific notes on his opinion of the performance of the Umpire or Appraiser. The notes can be quick singles sentences or whole paragraphs. The Registered User will be able to choose to make the specific notes either anonymous or allow his name to be shown as the author of the notes.

Remember, that the Umpire Book depends on you, it’s users , to make it the fantastically useful tool that it can be for all of us. So, you must take the time to enter in the data. If necessary, give your secretary a list of your past Appraisals with notes on your opinions and have her enter the list. We encourage you to share your thoughts on how we might make the site better and even more functional. Please send me an email with your thoughts or comments to:

Stephen Hadhazi
Florida Public Insurance Adjuster
10311 Emnora
Houston, TX 77043
Office: (713) 689-9177
Fax: (281) 596-7508
Website: www.DocuDamage.com
Email: stephen@docudamage.com

In a property appraisal, the umpire is supposed to be fair. I am not certain if this website will help support "fairness" or not. "Excellent" ratings may suggest the umpire’s rulings unfairly benefit policyholders. That is just as unfair as umpires who always rule in favor of insurance companies.

On the other hand, knowing that an umpire is "outcome oriented" rather than ruling on the evidence is important. To that extent, I think this new website will be helpful and prevent harm to policyholders.

What are your thoughts?

Comments are encouraged.